The Chao Sam Phraya Museum is located at Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, just opposite Phranakhon Si Ayutthaya Rajabhat University. The museum - funded by the proceeds earned from the auction of votive tablets that were discovered in the underground crypts of Wat Ratchaburana in 1959 - was inaugurated by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej on December 26, 1961 . It houses antiquities recovered from Ayutthaya and surrounding areas. The Kingdom of Ayutthaya was founded by King U-Thong in 1351 and was the second capital of the Siamese Kingdom after Sukhothai. Between the 14th and 18th century, Ayutthaya had grown to be “one of the world’s largest and most cosmopolitan urban areas and a centre of global diplomacy and commerce” . Much of its success had also to do with its strategic location: it was surrounded by rivers and canals on all sides  and thus, acted as a defence from the Burmese invaders. According to historical records, much of the wealth of the kingdom was spent on the construction of temples, religious monuments and arts . Ayutthaya was attacked three times by the Burmese and in 1669, it finally succumbed to the Burmese attack “owing to internal rivalries and treason” . This museum displays about 2,400 pieces of antiquities in three separate buildings and another 222,000 pieces are stored in the reserve collection. Among the exhibits that attract people from all around the world include a seated Buddha Dvaravati Statue made out of sandstone from Wat Phra Men in Nakhon Pathom province. Records has it that there are only six statues of this kind around the world and five of them are in Thailand. This statue is located on the ground floor of the museum, more specifically, on the far left side near the staircase. Another important discovery was a 115cm Royal Victory Sword, which is also known as Phra Saeng Khan Chai Sri. The sword, believed to have belonged to King Intharacha, was found in the Monastery of Royal Merit, which is currently known as Wat Ratchaburana . The sheath is made out of gold, the handle is made out of quartz crystal and laid with gems, the double-edged blade is made out of iron and the knob is decorated with precious stones . This item is located at the Ratburana Room, together with many other precious artifacts. Perhaps the most sacred and interesting exhibit housed in this museum is located on the first floor of the museum and on the far left side-the seven layered-stupa which had contained crystalline Buddha relics. It was discovered in the crypt of the main prang tower of Wat Mahathat in 1957 . Although the seven-layers of stupa which contained the Buddha's relics are on display at this museum, the relics themselves, which are kept in sandalwood oil, is on display at the Bangkok National Museum. The stupas together with other sacred artefacts excavated from Wat Mahathat are located in Mahathat Room, opposite the Ratburana Room on the first floor of the Chao Sam Phraya Museum.
In this Learning Experience, you will learn that the prosperity of an ancient kingdoms is usually reflected in the types of mined materials chosen to create sacred statues and objects as well as regalia. This Learning Experience is suitable for learners Year 3 and above. Note: The reflection phase will take place under Point B. Disclaimer: Please be informed that the museum is home to many sacred artefacts and therefore, appropriate dress code should be adhered to. Also note that photography and videography are strictly prohibited at the enclosed air-conditioned rooms or vaults.